‘Scaled-down synchrotron’ has been nominated as a National Icon

June 20, 2019

Research project Smart*Light, a collaboration from Eindhoven University of Technology and Delft University of Technology, has been nominated as National Icon

Those involved in the Smart*Light research project, with Prof. Jom Luiten third from the left and Prof. Joris Dik (TU Delft) second from the right.

Smart*Light, a synchrotron that fits on a table and generates very clear X-rays for applications in medical diagnostics, material and art research, has been nominated as National Icon. Among the nine other contenders, there are also three projects that originated from TU/e. In the election of National Icons, the Dutch government is looking for groundbreaking innovations that the Netherlands can use to change the world in the future.

In the Smart*Light research project, researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and Delft University of Technology (TUD) are building a pilot set-up for a very compact synchrotron. This was initiated by professors Jom Luiten (TU/e) and Joris Dik (TUD) within a consortium with other universities and companies. The high-intensity X-ray radiation that this device will deliver is now only available through large, expensive and scarce facilities. Smart*Light can ultimately be used in clinical applications for medical diagnostics, in research laboratories for the development of new materials and in museums, to investigate important works of art.


National Icons

Ten innovative technologies have been nominated as finalists for the election of the new National Icons. These are Dutch solutions for global issues in the areas of health, energy, digitization, circular materials and mobility. The cabinet will announce in September who the final winners are.

A total of 55 projects have been submitted. An independent jury led by Hans Wijers selected 10 innovations and advises the cabinet on the appointment of the National Icons. The 10 entrepreneurs and researchers involved have been invited to extensively explain their innovations to the jury in the coming weeks.

Three other nominations

In addition to the Smart*Light research project, three innovations were selected that once originated from TU/e. These are Lightyear (electric family car powered by solar energy), Ioniqa (chemical recycling method for PET plastic waste) and PowerNEST (extra floor on a building that combines energy from sun and wind).

At the previous edition in 2016, Blue Energy was named National Icon. The research group of TU/e professor Kitty Nijmeijer (Membrane Technology) is one of the pioneers in this. The election was organized for the first time in 2014. Then four innovations were named in the Ridderzaal: cultivated stem cells, Quantum Technologies, Hybrid potatoes and the Bioneedle.

Barry van der Meer
(Science Information Officer)